The different types of bentonite are each named after the respective dominant element, such as potassium (K), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), and aluminium(Al). Experts debate a number of nomenclatorial problems with the classification of bentonite clays. Bentonite usually forms from weathering of volcanic ash, most often in the presence of water. However, the term bentonite, as well as a similar clay called tonstein, has been used to describe clay beds of uncertain origin. For industrial purposes, two main classes of bentonite exist: sodium and calcium bentonite. In stratigraphy and tephrochronology, completely devitrified (weathered volcanic glass) ash-fall beds are commonly referred to as K-bentonites when the dominant clay species is illite. Other common clay species that are sometimes dominant are montmorillonite and kaolinite. Kaolinite-dominated clays are commonly referred to as tonsteins and are typically associated with coal.
Sodium bentonite expands when wet, absorbing as much as several times its dry mass in water. Because of its excellent colloidal properties, it is often used in drilling mud for oil and gas wells and boreholes for geotechnical and environmental investigations. The property of swelling also makes sodium bentonite useful as a sealant, since it provides a self-sealing, low permeability barrier. It is used to line the base of landfills, for example. Various surface modifications to sodium bentonite improve some rheological or sealing performance in geoenvironmental applications, for example, the addition of polymers.
Calcium bentonite is a useful adsorbent of ions in solution, as well as fats and oils. It is the main active ingredient of fuller’s earth, probably one of the earliest industrial cleaning agents.
Calcium bentonite may be converted to sodium bentonite (termed sodium beneficiation or sodium activation) to exhibit many of sodium bentonite’s properties by an ion exchange process. In common usage, this means adding 5–10% of a soluble sodium salt such as sodium carbonate to wet bentonite, mixing well, and allowing time for the ion exchange to take place and water to remove the exchanged calcium. Some properties, such as viscosity and fluid loss of suspensions, of sodium-beneficiated calcium bentonite (or sodium-activated bentonite) may not be fully equivalent to those of natural sodium bentonite. For example, residual calcium carbonates (formed if exchanged cations are insufficiently removed) may result in inferior performance of the bentonite in geosynthetic liners.
Also known as potash bentonite or K-bentonite, potassium bentonite is a potassium-rich illitic clay formed from alteration of volcanic ash.
Bentonite used as cat litter
Creating a bentonite slurry for fining after wine pressing
The main uses of bentonite are for drilling mud, binder (e.g. foundry-sand bond, iron ore pelletizer), purifier, absorbent (e.g. pet litter), and as a groundwater barrier. As of around 1990, almost half of the US production of bentonite was used for drilling mud.
Bentonite is used in drilling fluids to lubricate and cool the cutting tools, to remove cuttings, and to help prevent blowouts. Much of bentonite’s usefulness in the drilling and geotechnical engineering industry comes from its unique rheological properties. Relatively small quantities of bentonite suspended in water form a viscous, shear-thinning material. Most often, bentonite suspensions are also thixotropic, although rare cases of rheopecticbehavior have also been reported. At high enough concentrations (about 60 grams of bentonite per litre of suspension), bentonite suspensions begin to take on the characteristics of a gel (a fluid with a minimum yield strength required to make it move). So, it is a common component of drilling mud used to curtail drilling fluid invasion by its propensity for aiding in the formation of mud cake.
Bentonite has been widely used as a foundry-sand bond in iron and steel foundries. Sodium bentonite is most commonly used for large castings that use dry molds, while calcium bentonite is more commonly used for smaller castings that use “green” or wet molds. Bentonite is also used as a binding agent in the manufacture of iron ore (taconite) pellets as used in the steelmaking industry. Bentonite, in small percentages, is used as an ingredient in commercially designed clay bodies and ceramic glazes. Bentonite clay is also used in pyrotechnics to make end plugs and rocket engine nozzles.
The ionic surface of bentonite has a useful property in making a sticky coating on sand grains. When a small proportion of finely ground bentonite clay is added to hard sand and wetted, the clay binds the sand particles into a moldable aggregate known as green sand used for making molds in sand casting. Some river deltas naturally deposit just such a blend of clay silt and sand, creating a natural source of excellent molding sand that was critical to ancient metalworking technology. Modern chemical processes to modify the ionic surface of bentonite greatly intensify this stickiness, resulting in remarkably dough-like yet strong casting sand mixes that stand up to molten metal temperatures.
The same effluvial deposition of bentonite clay onto beaches accounts for the variety of plasticity of sand from place to place for building sand castles. Beach sand consisting of only silica and shell grains does not mold well compared to grains coated with bentonite clay. This is why some beaches are much better for building sand castles than others.
The self-stickiness of bentonite allows high-pressure ramming or pressing of the clay in molds to produce hard, refractory shapes, such as model rocketnozzles. To test whether a particular brand of cat litter is bentonite, simply ram a sample with a hammer into a sturdy tube with a close-fitting rod; bentonite will form a very hard, consolidated plug that is not easily crumbled.
Bentonites are used for decolorizing various mineral, vegetable, and animal oils. They are also used for clarifying wine, liquor, cider, beer, and vinegar.
Bentonite has the property of adsorbing relatively large amounts of protein molecules from aqueous solutions. Consequently, bentonite is uniquely useful in the process of winemaking, where it is used to remove excessive amounts of protein from white wines. Were it not for this use of bentonite, many or most white wines would precipitate undesirable flocculent clouds or hazes upon exposure to warm temperatures, as these proteins denature. It also has the incidental use of inducing more rapid clarification of both red and white wines.
Bentonite is used in a variety of pet care items such as cat litter to absorb the odor and surround the feces. It is also used to absorb oils and grease.
The property of swelling on contact with water makes sodium bentonite useful as a sealant, since it provides a self-sealing, low-permeability barrier. It is used to line the base of landfills to prevent migration of leachate, for quarantining metal pollutants of groundwater, and for the sealing of subsurface disposal systems for spent nuclear fuel. Similar uses include making slurry walls, waterproofing of below-grade walls, and forming other impermeable barriers, e.g., to seal off the annulus of a water well, to plug old wells.
Bentonite can also be “sandwiched” between synthetic materials to create geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) for the aforementioned purposes. This technique allows for more convenient transport and installation, and it greatly reduces the volume of bentonite required. It is also used to form a barrier around newly planted trees to constrain root growth so as to prevent damage to nearby pipes, footpaths and other infrastructure. Farmers use bentonite to seal retention ponds.
Bentonite has been prescribed as a bulk laxative, and it is also used as a base for many dermatologic formulas. Granular bentonite is being studied for use in battlefield wound dressings. Bentonite is also sold online and in retail outlets for a variety of indications.
Bentonite can also be used as a desiccant due to its adsorption properties. Bentonite desiccants have been successfully used to protect pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and diagnostic products from moisture degradation and extend shelf life. In fact, in the most common package environments, bentonite desiccants offer a higher adsorption capacity than silica gel desiccants. Bentonite complies with the FDA for contact with food and drugs. 
In Thai farming
The application of clay technology by farmers in northeast Thailand, using bentonite clay, has dramatically reversed soil degradation and resulted in greater economic returns, with higher yields and higher output prices. Studies carried out by The International Water Management Institute and partners in 2002–2003 focused on the application of locally sourced bentonite clays to degraded soils in the region. These applications were carried out in structured field trials. Applying bentonite clays effectively improved yields of forage sorghum grown under rain-fed conditions.
Bentonite application also influenced the prices that farmers received for their crops. Production costs are higher, but due to more production and the quality of the food, clay farmers could afford to invest and grow more and better food, compared to nonclay-using farmers.
Bentonite slurry walls in modern construction
Bentonite slurry walls (also known as diaphragm walls  ) are used in construction, where the slurry wall is a trench filled with a thick colloidal mixture of bentonite and water. A trench that would collapse due to the hydraulic pressure in the surrounding soil does not collapse as the slurry balances the hydraulic pressure. Forms for concrete, and rebar, can be assembled in a slurry-filled trench, and then have concrete poured into the form. The liquid concrete being denser displaces the less-dense bentonite slurry and causes the latter to overflow from the trench. This displaced bentonite slurry is then channelled to a recycling unit from which it can subsequently be reused in a new trench elsewhere on the construction site.
In addition, because the colloid is relatively impervious to water, a slurry wall can prevent the seepage of groundwater, which is useful in preventing the further spread of groundwater that has been contaminated by toxic material such as industrial waste.
History and natural occurrence
Further information: List of countries by bentonite production
In 2011, the U.S. was the top producer of bentonite, with almost one-third world share, followed by China and Greece.
Most high-grade natural sodium bentonite is produced from the western United States in an area between the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming and the Tokat Resadiye region of Turkey. Mixed sodium/calcium bentonite is mined in Greece, Australia, India, Russia, and the Ukraine.
Bentonite clay has been traditionally used to promote internal cleansing and has become a popular ingredient in a number of detoxification programs. Many people have used bentonite clay to address symptoms of constipation, like bloating and gas. Some have even cited it as effective against more serious gastrointestinal conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome. Research has also revealed its role in protecting the immune system and combating the effects of various toxins present in the environment
Six Health Benefits of Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay has been used for centuries, and research is catching up and investigating its long term use. As a detox tool, bentonite clay may be helpful for reducing dietary and environmental toxins, supporting the immune system, and helping to remove fluoride from drinking water. Here are some of the researched benefits of bentonite clay.
1. Removes Fluoride
One study found that bentonite clay, when combined with magnesium chloride, successfully reduced fluoride contained in fluoridated water. This may provide hope for the development of a natural filtration technique in the future, especially considering the rising concern of fluoride on human health. 
2. Combats Dietary Toxins
Aflatoxin is a type of mold-like compound produced by organisms that thrive on a variety of different food crops. These toxic substances are detectable in peanut butter and some cooking oils, and research shows that they can interfere with the functioning of the immune system.  Aflatoxins may also contribute to possible liver damage, including liver cancer.  Animal models have shown that bentonite clay may reduce health damage associated with the ingestion of dietary aflatoxin. 
3. Fights Environmental Toxins
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a term describing an assortment of chemicals emitted from cleaning supplies, paint, office equipment, permanent markers, pesticides, building materials, and hundreds of other everyday items. Breathing in these compounds is commonplace for many people, as indoor paints often contain many of these health-damaging chemicals. Bentonite clay has been shown to adsorb VOCs, possibly reducing human exposure to these dangerous compounds.   Determining the proper application of bentonite as a VOC-reducing agent is still being researched.
4. Toxic Metal Cleansing
Bentonite clay is typically used for cleansing the body of toxic metals, compounds that may degrade the health of the body over time. The most damaging toic metals are mercury, cadmium, lead, and benzene, compounds contained in some processed foods (especially those with high fructose corn syrup), drinking water, building materials, and the environment.  One study has revealed that bentonite clay may be helpful for reducing these harmful metals. 
5. Cleans Contaminated Soil
Soil near busy highways or roads can often be contaminated with a variety of metals, pollutants, and toxic chemicals. Much of the contamination in soil has been built up for decades, and many of these chemicals can interfere with the quality of the soil and crop production. Organic chemical compounds, like benzene, toluene, and xylene, are often found in contaminated soil. These aromatic chemicals are carcinogenic, and exposure to them over time can lead to negative health effects.  Bentonite clay may be helpful for reducing soil contaminates by acting as an amendment to chemically-adulterated soil. 
6. Immune System Support
Bentonite clay has been shown to be protective against agents responsible for reducing the effectiveness of the immune system, and animal models show that bentonite clay may be a possible immune system strengthener. In one study, broiler chickens were fed food containing aflatoxins to test their immune response. Aflatoxins seemed to initiate unfavorable effects in the immune system, an action that can increase the animals’ predisposition to a number of diseases. Following the administering of bentonite clay, the aflatoxins’ immune-degrading effects were significantly suppressed. 
Why is Bentonite Clay Effective?
Bentonite clay has negatively charged molecules, which seems to enhance its adsorptive properties. It’s able to pass through the intestinal tract and attract the toxins which are positively charged. When they are in contact with each other, they swap ions and are bound together and the toxic molecule is absorbed by the clay molecule.
Its absorptive abilities come from the low number of minerals–17, to be exact–that comprise the bulk of the product. This low number indicates a higher potential to absorb other molecules. The toxin molecules that bonded with the clay molecules are internalized in the clay molecule. In this state, your body supposedly expels the toxin-filled clay through normal bowel movements.
Using Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay is powerful and effective. The clay can be used as a facial mask by mixing 1 tablespoon bentonite clay with 1 tablespoon of water. For internal cleansing purposes, mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of clay in water and consume. You can gradually work your way up to 2 or 3 teaspoons, but be sure to speak with your doctor while increasing your intake. Don’t take 2 hours before or after medications, and wait an hour after taking bentonite clay to eat. You can also add 1/4 cup of bentonite clay to bathwater along with 1/4 cup of baking soda for detoxing and for softening the skin. Rehydrate after a detox bath. Diabetics are advised against taking hot baths. Keep in mind that clay may be an irritant to the lungs for some people, so individuals should avoid inhaling it.
Have you tried bentonite clay? What was your experience? Please leave a comment and share it with us!
- Thakre D, Rayalu S, Kawade R, Meshram S, Subrt J, Labhsetwar N. Magnesium incorporated bentonite clay for defluoridation of drinking water. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2010 August 15;180(1-3):122-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.04.001.
- Cusumano V, Rossano F, Merendino RA, Arena A, Costa GB, ancuso G, Baroni A, Losi E. Immunobiological activities of mould products: functional impairment of human monocytes exposed to aflatoxin B1. Research in Microbiology. 1996 June:147(5):385-91.
- Julia R. Barrett. Liver Cancer and Aflatoxin: New Information from the Kenyan Outbreak. Environmental Health Perspectives. December 2005; 113(12): A837-A838.
- Thieu NQ, Ogie B, Pettersson H. Efficacy of bentonite clay in ameliorating aflatoxicosis in piglets fed aflatoxin contaminated diets. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 2008 December;40(8):649-56. doi: 10.1007/s11250-008-9144-3.
- Zaitan H, Bianchi D, Achak O, Charik T. A comparative study of the adsorption and desorption of o-xylene onto bentonite clay and alumina. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2008 May 1;153(1-2):852-9.
- Günister E, Isci S, Oztekin N, Erim FB, Ece OI, Gungor N. Effect of cationic surfactant adsorption on the rheological and surface properties of bentonite dispersions. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 2006 November 1;303(1):137-41.
- Jarup L. Hazards of heavy metal contamination. British Medical Bulletin. 2003;68:167-82.
- Oyanedel-Craver VA, Fuller M, Smith JA. Simultaneous sorption of benzene and heavy metals onto two organoclays. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 2007 May 15;309(2):485-92.
- Martyn T. Smith. Advances in Understanding Benzene Health Effects and Susceptibility. Annual Review of Public Health. Vol. 31: 133-148. April 2010. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.012809.103646.
- Gitipour S, Bowers MT, Bodocsi A. The Use of Modified Bentonite for Removal of Aromatic Organics from Contaminated Soil. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 1997 December 15;196(2):191-198.
- Ibrahim IK, Shareef AM, Al-Joubory KM. Ameliorative effects of sodium bentonite on phagocytosis and Newcastle disease antibody formation in broiler chickens during aflatoxicosis. Research in Veterinary Science. 2000 October;69(2):119-22.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.
Never heard of bentonite clay before? Well, then you may be very surprised to hear that it’s a “healing clay” that cleanses and heals the body. In fact, many people enjoy bentonite clay benefits by taking internally (in other words, drinking and eating it), on top of using it externally on the skin.
Bentonite clay, also called Montmorillonite clay, is taking off as a wellness trend among people who are looking to help detoxify their bodies and defend against illnesses. While it’s been used for centuries around the world to promote better health and ward off disease, this healing clay recently gained some spotlight in the U.S. and Europe as a trusted product* that can be added to any detoxification program.
Bentonite Clay Benefits in History
Bentonite clay is composed of ash made from volcanos. The largest known source of bentonite clay is found in Fort Benton, Wyoming where numerous volcanos are present, so the name of the clay stems from the town where today much of the supply is still harvested.
The other name that bentonite clay is typically given, Montmorillonite clay, stems from the region of France called Montmorillon, where the clay was first discovered. Today the clay is harvested mostly in the U.S., France and Italy. “Bentonite” is actually the trade name that the clay has been given, but people for the most part speak about Montmorillonite and Bentonite clay interchangeably and are referring to the same product.
Bentonite clay stems back far in history as a traditional healing method for protecting the body from disease. It has been reported that several traditional cultures living in regions of the Andes, Central Africa and Australia have consumed clays in numerous ways for centuries. Because the clay is readily available and required no modern processing, it has been a popular and cost-effective way of “detoxing” the body for quite some time.
How Bentonite Clay Works
We come into contact with a range of toxins numerous times every day, as toxins are given off from common products like paint, cleaning supplies, markers, substances used in building homes, low-quality unpurified water, and even pesticides that are widely sprayed regions that have farming present. It is quite common to inject a range of different toxins just by breathing in the fumes that are present all around us, not to mention the toxins that we receive from an unhealthy diet filled with low-quality processed foods.
“Heavy metal toxins” usually refer to substances like mercury, cadmium, lead and benzene. These can be found in the products previously mentioned, and also in foods that contain high fructose corn syrup or certain types of fish. Bentonite clay benefits your body by helping to expel many of these toxins (thus as part of a heavy metal detox) and can increase immunity and reduce inflammation. (1)
On top of being able to draw-out toxins from the body, the clay itself has a range of nutrients. Bentonite clay is known to have an abundance of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, silica, sodium, copper, iron and potassium.
When ingested into the body, either in a drink form or by eating the clay, its vitamins and minerals are absorbed similarly to how a supplement would be. Therefore, some people use it as a supplement since the clay is a natural source of important dietary nutrients.
Bentonite clay also benefits the body because it has the ability to produce a charge that is electrical in nature when it comes in contact with liquid — similar to how earthing (touching your bare feet to the earth, in particular wet grass). When the clay touches any type of fluid (normally water), it takes on a different charge and is thought to bind to any present toxins within the fluid.
While in its natural state, bentonite clay has negatively charged electrons intact, most toxins and heavy metals have positively charged electrons. This allows the two to bind together easily and stay united while the toxin removal process happens.
Bentonite clay essentially “seeks” toxins in the body to bind with because naturally any substance that has a missing ion (which gives it its “charge”) looks for oppositely charged types of substances that will make it complete. Upon binding, the clay is then able to help remove toxins, chemicals, impurities and “heavy metals” from the gut, skin and mouth.
If you ever use chia seeds in baking and combine them with any milk or water, you have likely experienced their ability to swell and soak up the fluid that is around them, creating a gel-like consistency. Bentonite clay has a similar ability: It absorbs the liquids that is comes into contact with and expands to extract toxins from the liquid.
10 Bentonite Clay Benefits and Uses
- Used on the Skin to Heal Eczema, Dermatitis & Psoriasis
When combined with water and left to dry on the skin as a clay mask, the clay is able to bind to bacteria and toxins living on the surface of the skin and within pores to extract these from the pours. This helps to reduce the outbreak of blemishes, alleviate redness, and also to fight allergic reactions from irritating lotions or face washes, and even helps help poison ivy.
Thanks to the clay’s special ability to act as an antibiotic treatment when applied topically to the skin, the clay can help to calm skin infections and speed up healing time of wounds or eczema, even when prescription antibiotics were not able to help solve the problem. (2, 3, 4)
- Used in the Bath as a Soaking Liquid to Remove Toxins
The clay can be added to your bath water and used as a soaking liquid, binding to the toxins that are dispelled from your skin. The clay leaves skin feeling smooth, hydrated, and less inflamed, all while you relax in the tub effortlessly!
- Allows Cells to Receive More Oxygen
Bentonite clay helps to get oxygen into the cells because it has the ability to pull excess hydrogen from the cells, leaving room for oxygen to take its place.
When cells have more oxygen entering them, you feel more energized and your body can repair itself more easily from illness or hard workouts, including improving muscle recovery.
- Alkalizes the Body
Much of the foods that are present in the “Standard American Diet” have an acidic reaction in the body, meaning they alter the body’s preferred pH level to make it more acidic than we’d like for it to be.
The less healthy someone’s diet is, normally the more acidic their body is. This is the case because the stomach needs to work extra hard to produce strong acids in order to break down these foods, creating the need for even more alkalizing foods to balance things out.
Proper digestion requires enzymes that are made from alkalizing minerals, so when alkalizing foods do not enter the body, acidity remains high and digestion suffers. Bentonite clay contains alkalizing minerals, which brings the level of the body’s pH to a more optimal balance between acidity and alkalinity, helping to make the blood, saliva and urine more alkaline.
- Boosts Probiotics
By removing toxins, digestive-distress causing chemicals and heavy metals from the gut, bentonite clay helps to promote the “good bacteria” or probiotics living in your gut wall and decrease the amount of harmful “bad bacteria.”
A healthy gut wall prevents us from experiencing malabsorption of nutrients from our food, increases our immunity, and also helps to elevate our mood and brain function. Research has also shown that bentonite clay can bind to particular toxins like “aflatoxins” that are common in the standard diet, found in things like peanuts and some grains.
When left unattended, an influx of aflatoxins can contribute to liver damage and potentially even the onset of certain cancers. Because of bentonite clay’s negatively charged electrons, it’s able to withstand acids found in the gut and survive long enough to bind to toxins. (5)
- Relieves Digestive Problems (Constipation, IBS, Nausea, etc.)
Thanks to its ability to neutralize bacteria in the cut and kill viruses, bentonite clay helps to alleviate many digestive problems. It is often used as relief for nausea and vomiting by pregnant women, is a safe way to remedy constipation, and helps with IBS.
Results from one study carried out in 1998 showed that bentonite clay was extremely successful at absorbing harmful rotavirus and caronavirus toxins within the gut of young mammals. Rotaviruses are one of the leading causes of gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea and nausea, in infants and toddlers. (5)
Bentonite clay benefits your pets as well. It is safe for pet consumption within your own home and can alleviate pet’s nausea and vomiting in the same way. You can add bentonite clay to your pet’s water to help reduce symptoms like vomiting. Mix ¼ cup or less of the clay into their water until it dissolves; they should not taste anything or even notice that it’s there, but should feel better pretty quickly.
- Boosts Immunity by Killing Harmful Bacteria and Viruses
Bentonite clay was also found to be effective at killing harmful bacteria. In a study published by the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, “results indicate that specific mineral products have intrinsic, heat-stable antibacterial properties, which could provide an inexpensive treatment against numerous human bacterial infections.” (6)
More research is still needed on the topic but results of studies so far appear to be promising in terms of how the clay can be used as a treatment for these gut-related illnesses. On top of killing these types of infections and viruses, bentonite clay benefits your immune system by keeping the gut wall strong.
Much of the immune system actually lives inside of the gut, and when the gut wall is compromised, toxins are better able to leach into the bloodstream and cause serious problems. By protecting the gut wall and decreasing the amount of pesticides, toxins, bacteria and chemicals that could potentially enter the blood, the body is better able to protect its health.
- Improves the Health of Teeth and Gums
The mouth is one of the most susceptible areas of the body when it comes to harmful outside “invaders” taking over, like bacteria and toxins.
Bentonite clay binds to unhealthy substances in the mouth, such as around the teeth and on the tongue and gums, and helps to remove them before you swallow them and become sick. Because of Bentonite’s antibacterial properties, it has been used in natural toothpastes and even mixed with water and used as a daily rinse.
- Purifies Water
Bentonite clay has been researched as an effective way to remove some of the fluoride that is often in drinking water.
When combined with magnesium, the clay has been shown to benefit the purity of tap water, which leads to some promising possibilities for using it in the future as a widespread cost-effective water purification method. (7)
- Useful As a Baby Powder Alternative
Bentonite clay can be applied to any area on the skin of babies that is irritated, red or needs soothing in the same way that traditional powders are used. Plus, it is very gentle and naturally cleansing.
Apply a small amount of the clay directly to the skin and allow it to sit for several minutes before wiping/rinsing it away.
How to Effectively Start Using Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay normally comes in a gray or cream color, not a bright white color, which can indicate that it may have gone bad. The clay should also be odorless and not have much of any taste at all.
If you plan on consuming bentonite clay by mouth (ingesting it either by eating or drinking the clay), try this:
- Drink 1/2 to 1 teaspoon once per day as many days of the week as you’d like. Mix the clay with water, preferably in a jar with a lid where you can shake the clay and make it dissolve. Then drink it right away.
If you plan on only using it externally on your skin, try this:
- Enjoy the bentonite clay benefits by adding a ¼ of a cup of the clay to your bath and massage your skin with it. Or just allow the clay to dissolve into the water and soak it in for as long as you’d like, then rinse your skin well with clean water.
- Try gargling the clay in your mouth with some water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, similarly to using mouth wash. Then spit out the clay and rinse your mouth with clean water.
- Try creating a face mask by smearing the clay directly onto your skin, especially anywhere where you have blemishes, red spots, irritations or scarring. Allow the clay to dry (this usually takes about 20 minutes) and then rinse it off with warm water. It’s recommended to use the clay mask one or twice per week for best results.
- For scrapes or bug bites, apply a concentrated amount of the clay directly to the trouble area and cover with a Band-Aid or gauze, then let it sit for about 2 hours, then rinse it off.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive and safe way to help rid toxins from your body, consider trying bentonite clay in one of its many uses. Whether you are looking to clear skin irritations or undergo a more dramatic internal detox, experiment with this traditional and completely natural method of healing that has been practiced for hundreds of years. I personally use Redmond Bentonite Clay.
Some bentonite clay products contains trace amounts of lead and may not be appropriate for consumption by children and pregnant women.
Though they have been largely forgotten in recent times, Bentonite Clay and other healing clays have been used by cultures throughout history for their nutrients and to help rid the body of toxins. Many animals will instinctively turn to eating dirt and clay to help remove poisons from their systems or during times of illness or distress.
In recent times, healing clays like bentonite clay have once again gained popularity for internal and external detoxification, and with good reason.
What is Bentonite Clay?
According to Mountain Rose Herbs:
Bentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays. Bentonite can be used externally as a clay poultice, mud pack or in the bath and, in skin care recipes. A good quality Bentonite should be a grey/cream color and anything bordering “pure white” is suspect. It has a very fine, velveteen feel and is odorless and non-staining. The type of bentonite offered by Mountain Rose herbs is a Sodium Bentonite.
Bentonite Clay is composed of aged volcanic ash. The name comes from the largest known deposit of Bentonite Clay located in Fort Benton, Wyoming.
What Does it Do?
Bentonite Clay is a unique clay due to its ability to produce an “electrical charge” when hydrated. Upon contact with fluid, its electrical components change, giving it the ability to absorb toxins. Bentonite is known for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals.
As Mountain Rose Herbs explains:
Bentonite is a swelling clay. When it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound.
Bentonite clay carries a strong negative charge which bonds to the positive charge in many toxins. When it comes in contact with a toxin, chemical, or heavy metal, the clay will absorb the toxin and release it’s minerals for the body to use. Bentonite also helps get oxygen to cells as it pulls excess hydrogen and allows the cells to replace it with oxygen instead.
Bentonite clay is a common ingredient in detox and cleansing products. It has an alkalizing effect on the body and when taken correctly, it can help balance gut bacteria.
Personally, I’ve seen people benefit from taking Bentonite Clay to help with:
- Digestive disturbances like acid reflux, constipation, bloating, gas, etc. (Kaolin clay was common ingredient in medicines like Maalox and Rolaids for years)
- Helping with skin and allergy issues
- To help provide minerals for the body
- To help speed recovery from vomiting and diarrhea
- In oral health preparations
- Externally for all types of skin problems and to speed healing
Healing clays like Bentonite have a high concentration of minerals including silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium.
Even Dr. Weston A Price, in his book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” reported that several native cultures including those in the Andes, Central Africa and Australia consumed clays in various ways, most often my carrying balls of dried clay in their bags and dissolving a small amount of the clay in water with meals to prevent poisoning from any toxins present.
In a study from Arizona State University, bentonite clay was found to be highly effective at killing MRSA as well as Salmonella, E.Coli and others.What is promising as research continues in this area is that depending on the method in which the clay kills the infection, it may not be possible for the MRSA or other bacteria to develop a resistance to it as it does with antibiotics.
How to Use Bentonite Clay
Bentonite (and other clays) are staples in my homemade herbal cabinet and medicine chest. I’ve used them internally and externally for various issues on myself, my husband my kids. I order from here and it is an inexpensive natural remedy.
Important Notes: Do not let healing clays like Bentonite come in to contact with anything metal, as this will reduce the effectiveness. I mix with water in a glass jar with a plastic lid by shaking well or using a plastic whisk. If you take it internally, do not take within an hour of food for best results and do not take within 2 hours of medications or supplements as it might reduce their effectiveness. Check with your doctor before using if you have any medical condition.
- On the Skin: Externally, I apply a paste of bentonite clay and water on any skin irritation like blemishes, insect bites, cuts, skin itching, or burns. I leave it on until it dries and wash off. This is said to be especially calming to skin itching from eczema, psoriasis, chicken pox, etc.
- Skin Poultice for Bites/Burns/Cuts/Stings: For more severe issues, I create a poultice by putting a thick layer of clay on the skin and applying a wet gauze or cloth over it. I wrap the area and leave the poultice on, changing every 2 hours.
- Face Mask: For smooth and healthy skin, I make a paste of bentonite and water and apply to my face as a mask (a similar mask is used in many spas). I leave on for 20 minutes and wash off. I typically do this once or twice a week.
- Detox Bath: I sometimes add about 1/4 cup of Bentonite Clay to a bath for a relaxing detox bath that softens skin.
- For Oral Health: Because of it’s excellent ability to bind to heavy metals and toxins as well as to provide minerals, I use Bentonite Clay in my Remineralizing Tooth Powder Recipe. It can even be used alone for brushing and is tasteless and relatively textureless.
- Oral Rinse to whiten and remineralize teeth: Besides the use in my tooth powder, I use Bentonite mixed with water as an alkalizing and toxin removing mouth rinse. I mix 1/2 teaspoon of clay in 1/4 cup water in a small jar with a plastic lid and shake well. Then, I rinse with the water for 1-2 minutes and repeat until I’ve used it all.
- For Mastitis: I’ve created a poultice or mask of Bentonite Clay and water and applied externally to the area. I repeat as needed every hour until the infection is gone. I also take internally during infection along with Vitamin C and fermented cod liver oil.
- For Baby Powder: Plain Bentonite Clay makes a very soothing baby powder for use when there is infection or redness. It can also be made into a clay “mask” to help speed recovery in this area.
- For Morning Sickness: I took 1/2 tsp of Bentonite Clay in water during early pregnancy to ward off morning sickness. It helped with the nausea and helped me feel better. I checked with my doc/midwife first and was told this was fine. Check with your doctor or medical professional before using during pregnancy.
- For Internal Cleansing: I drink 1/2 to 1 teaspoon most days in a cup of water. I combine in a glass jar with a plastic lid and shake until well incorporated. This has helped improve my digestion and also seems to give me more energy. Since adding this and getting gelatin in my diet or through Gelatin powder daily I also notice that my nails and hair grow more quickly. Make sure that any clay taken internally is labeled safe for internal use. Redmond Clay is one good option.
- For Pets: For pets that are sick, vomiting or showing signs of illness, you can add Bentonite to their water or mix and give orally with a dropper or syringe without the needle. I have seen several cases where this helped pets recover quickly from what could otherwise have been serious illnesses.
- Though I have not needed to use for these reasons personally, I have read cases of Bentonite and other healing clays being used internally to help reduce radiation exposure, in alternative cancer treatments, and in MRSA infections. It is also said to greatly help in Parasite removal, though I have not tried this personally.
Bentonite clay for internal healing
|The idea of eating clay to promote internal healingwill undoubtedly appear to many as farfetched, if not a little primitive.|
But natural clay, especially the form known as “bentonite clay”, has not only been used medicinally for hundreds of years by indigenous cultures around the planet, but has, in recent years, been increasingly used by practitioners of alternative medicine as a simple but effective internal cleanser to help in preventing and alleviating various health problems.
The name “bentonite clay” refers to a clay first identified in cretaceous rocks in Fort Benton, Wyoming. Although bentonite deposits can be found throughout the world, many of the largest concentrations of clay are located in the Great Plains area of North America.
|Bentonite is not a mineral, but a commercial name for “montmorillonite”, the active mineral in many medicinal clays. The name “”montmorillonite” comes from the city Montmorillon, in France, where the medicinal clay was first identified.|
Bentonite clay – used by indigenous tribes and animals for centuries
Clay is one of the most effective natural intestinal detoxifying agents available to us and has been used for hundreds of years by native tribes around the globe.
Primitive tribes have traditionally used various types of clay for conditions of toxicity. Dr. Weston A. Price in his book, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (1), stated that in studying the diets of native tribes he examined their knapsacks. Among the tribes examined in the high Andes, in Central Africa and the Aborigines of Australia, Dr. Price reported that some knapsacks contained balls of volcanic ash clay, a little of which was dissolved in water. Pieces of food were then dipped into the clay.
Animals in the wild, drawn to clay deposits by instinct, have been observed licking the clay as part of their everyday diet as well as rolling in it to get relief from injuries.
Liquid bentonite for elimination
Bentonite clay is made up of a high number of tiny platelets, with negative electrical charges on their flat surfaces and positive charges on their edges.
|When bentonite clay absorbs water and swells up, it is stretched open like a highly porous sponge. Toxins are drawn into these spaces through electrical attraction and bound. In fact, according to the Canadian Journal of Microbiology (2), bentonite clay can reportedly absorb pathogenic viruses, as well as herbicides and pesticides.|
The bentonite is eventually eliminated from the body with the toxins bound to its multiple surfaces.
Bentonite clay and diarrhea
In his book “The Clay Cure” (3), Ran Knishinsky discusses how diarrhea can be remedied through the use of bentonite clay because of its ability to bind stools. Bentonite clay can take effect right away by binding to irritants in the gastrointestinal tract. It’s a good idea to mix the bentonite clay with 1 cup of applesauce, which not only makes the clay more palatable, but also adds pectin, which is another binding agent.
Bentonite has many uses
Bentonite is used in pharmaceuticals, medical and cosmetics markets. Bentonite is used as a filler in pharmaceutical drugs, and due to its absorption-adsorption capabilities, it allows paste formation. Bentonite is used in industrial protective creams, wet compresses, and anti-irritant lotions for eczema. In medicine, bentonite is used as an antidote in heavy metal poisoning. Personal care products such as mud packs, baby powder, sunburn paint, and face creams may contain bentonite.
How to take the bentonite
|The best way to drink bentonite is on an empty stomach, or at least 1 hour before or after meals. Bentonite typically is available as a thick tasteless grey gel, but it also comes encapsulated, as well as in powder form.|
It is generally advisable to start with 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay daily, mixed with a small amount of juice. Pay attention to the results for a week, then gradually increase the dosage to no more than 4 tablespoons daily, in divided doses.
In my opinion, the best price for high quality bentonite can be found here.
Drinking bentonite clay should be part of your regular colon cleansing regimen. You will benefit from greater assimilation because of the bentonite clay’s action as an intestinal cleanser and gastrointestinal regulator. As your body “cleans house”, it is in a better position to more efficiently assimilate the nutrients it needs, whether those nutrients come from your healing diet, vegetable juicing or cod liver oil and any other supplements.
Bentonite clay. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s another one of those “natural remedies” that a lot of people use and have good results with. Althought it’s a very useful tool that’s natural and healthy, not all bentonite clays are created equal, and a lot of people don’t really know what bentonite clay is or even how it works.
Today, I’d like to give you some information on bentonite clay so that you’ll understand what to look for when selecting a good quality clay as well as how it works. Plus, I’m also going to share 15 ways you can use it from head to toe, and hopefully, in the end, you’ll know all about it and be confident in your ability to use it to benefit you and your family’s health!
Understanding Bentonite Clay
What It Is & What It Does
Bentonite clay is a clay that is mined from the earth, and it’s formed after volcanic ash has weathered and aged in the presence of water. It has a strong negative electromagnetic charge, and when activated by water, it acts like a magnet in and on our bodies, pulling metals and toxins to it. It also has an affect on the body’s pH and provides the body with some vital minerals at the same time.
Varieties of Bentonite Clay
This clay comes in different varieties depending upon which elements are most concentrated in it, potassium, sodium, calcium, and aluminum, but the two most commercially available types are sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite. The best thing I’ve read on how these different types of clay come to be is from this Bulk Herb Store article that says,
Bentonite clay is a very unique substance, formed primarily of Montmorillonite, which is an extremely flat crystal flake, that carries a relatively strong negative ionic charge. The negative charge is compensated for by adsorbing a cation (either Sodium or Calcium) to the interior of the molecule, this is what makes it either Sodium Bentonite or Calcium Bentonite clay.
To put it another way think of the Montmorillonite crystal flake resembling two pieces of bread, with a strong vacuum pulling the lunch meat in between them, whatever lands there (Sodium or Calcium) determines what kind of sandwich it will be. Now when you activate this clay sandwich it will magnetically grab the junk in your body (heavy metals, toxins, acid, etc.…) and trade them for the” lunch meat” taking the toxins out in your waste. The two different clays although very similar in their inert state (dry) have very different applications when activated (mixed with water).
So to me this says, if I use sodium bentonite clay, then it will exchange the sodium for the toxins it draws from my body… meaning it gives me it’s sodium and takes my toxins. Same goes for the calcium variety too. Pretty cool huh?
The main differences in these two varieties is that the sodium bentonite is best for detoxing purposes as it has a stronger negative charge which causes it to pull more toxins into it whereas the calcium bentonite clay is better at remineralizing the body with calcium and silica.
Quality of Bentonite Clay
When looking for a good quality bentonite clay, there are a couple of things to consider.
First, look into the company you’re buying your clay from. Research them and be sure that they’re active in where they source their clay from and test the quality of it. Remember that this clay acts as a magnet and you don’t want it absorbing toxins from nearby sources and then putting it on or in your body. Each of the companies mentioned here are very particular about their products, and I believe have great, healthy forms of bentonite clays available to use.
Next, ask how it’s mined. I never once thought about this until I read about it in the Bulk Herb Store article above, but since bentonite clay acts as a magnet for positively charged toxins (which the majority of toxins are) the equipment that the clay is mined with matters. You’re never supposed to use metal utensils with your bentonite clay because the metals can leach from the utensil and be pulled into the clay. This fills the clay up with those positively charged metals and means your clay will practically be useless by the time you use it since it’s already full of the metals from the utensil you used. The same goes with when it’s being mined. You want fully active clay… not clay that is already half full of metals from the mining process. Stainless steal mining equipment is supposedly a good option and doesn’t cause heavy metal leaching into the clay.
Bentonite Clay Concerns
I can think of a few concerns when it comes to using bentonite clay… at least internally that is.
First… it’s aluminum content. If you look at this bentonite clay profile by Mountain Rose Herbs, you’ll see that their bentonite clay contains 18.1% aluminum… the highest of all the minerals found in the clay. Now I’m sure this varies depending upon who you buy your clay from and where their clay is mined, but this can be really confusing for a lot of people since we all know that aluminum can be dangerous for our health. Thankfully, Redmond Clay addressed this concern of aluminum in bentonite clay stating,
Aluminum occurs naturally in our bodies, and in Redmond Clay. As with everything else we put in our bodies, the source and form of aluminum makes a big difference in how our bodies use it. The molecular structure of bentonite, especially the high negative charge of the aluminum, makes it impossible for the aluminum to leach into our systems. Instead, the aluminum leaves our bodies the old-fashioned way—along with the positively-charged toxins and impurities that the clay has bonded to. At a chemical level, much of clay’s healing benefit depends on aluminum.
Next, using sodium bentonite internally. Since sodium bentonite is the better detoxifying bentonite, your first thought may be to use it if you want to take it internally for a nice detox. Well, that’s true, but remember how it exchanges it’s sodium for your toxins? Well that could cause your body to get too much sodium and that in itself can cause a good amount of problems. Mountain Rose Herbs sells sodium bentonite and they specify that their clay is for external use only, but Bulk Herb Store and Redmond Clay are a combination of both sodium and calcium bentonite clays so that you can take them internally and get the best of both worlds… just as long as you take the right amount and don’t overdo it.
Lastly, constipation. Yes, bentonite clay can be used internally to detox the body as well as help with pH and remineralization, but if you use too much of it, it’s definitely going to cause constipation issues. Think about it. It’s clay. If you mix bentonite clay with a little water, you’re going to get a seriously thick paste. As you continue to add water to it, the clay continues to thin out and disperse in the water. Same goes in your body. If you take bentonite clay in water or in capsules, you have to continue to drink water throughout the day to help the clay stay thin and not “settle” or “compact” in your colon. No. Fun. Man.
15 Bentonite Clay Uses From Head To Toe
Below is a roundup of 15 different ways you can use bentonite clay to help your families health… from head to toe.
- Detox Your Hair – Wellness Mama
- Homemade Clay Toothpaste – Keeper of the Home
- Bentonite Clay Detox Bath – Homegrown & Healthy
- Bentonite Clay Face Mask – Health Extremist
- Homemade Calamine Lotion – Nourishing Joy
- DIY Mascara – Body Unburdened
- Homemade Deodorant – Oh Lardy
- Diaper Rash Remedy – Mommypotamus
- Bentonite Fruit & Veggie Wash – About Clay
- Bentonite Clay Poultice For Rashes, Burns, & Bites – Everyday Roots
- Bentonite Clay for Eczema – Livestrong on YouTube
- Bentonite Clay in Soap – Yahoo
- Skin Bleaching (Tattoo Lightener) – Ehow
- Heavy Metal Detox – Like A Mustard Seed
- Shaving Soap – Blue Aspen Originals
Where You Can Find Bentonite Clay
Mountain Rose Herbs (sodium bentonite, for the strongest detoxing properties)
Redmond Clay (sodium/calcium bentonite mix)
The term Bentonite was first used for a clay found in about 1890 in upper cretaceous tuff near Fort Benton, Montana. The main constituent, which is the determinant factor in the clay’s properties, is the clay mineral montmorillonite. This in turn, derives its name from a deposit at MontmThe term Bentonite was first used for a clay found in about 1890 in upper cretaceous tuff near Fort Benton, Wyoming. The main constituent, which is the determinant factor in the clay’s properties, is the clay mineral montmorillonite. This in turn, derives its name from a deposit at Montmorillon, in Southern France.
Bentonite is a clay generated frequently from the alteration of volcanic ash, consisting predominantly of smectite minerals, usually montmorillonite. Other smectite group minerals include hectorite, saponite, beidelite and nontronite. Smectites are clay minerals, i.e. they consist of individual crystallites the majority of which are <2µm in largest dimension. Smectite crystallites themselves are three-layer clay minerals. They consist of two tetrahedral layers and one octahedral layer. In montmorillonite tetrahedral layers consisting of [SiO4] – tetrahedrons enclose the [M(O5,OH)]-octahedron layer (M = and mainly Al, Mg, but Fe is also often found). The silicate layers have a slight negative charge that is compensated by exchangeable ions in the intercrystallite region. The charge is so weak that the cations (in natural form, predominantly Ca2+, Mg2+ or Na+ ions) can be adsorbed in this region with their hydrate shell. The extent of hydration produces intercrystalline swelling. Depending on the nature of their genesis, bentonites contain a variety of accessory minerals in addition to montmorillonite. These minerals may include quartz, feldspar, calcite and gypsum. The presence of these minerals can impact the industrial value of a deposit, reducing or increasing its value depending on the application. Bentonite presents strong colloidal properties and its volume increases several times when coming into contact with water, creating a gelatinous and viscous fluid. The special properties of bentonite (hydration, swelling, water absorption, viscosity, thixotropy) make it a valuable material for a wide range of uses and applications.
Bentonite deposits are normally exploited by quarrying. Extracted bentonite is distinctly solid, even with a moisture content of approximately 30%. The material is initially crushed and, if necessary, activated with the addition of soda ash (Na2CO3). Bentonite is subsequently dried (air and/or forced drying) to reach a moisture content of approximately 15%. According to the final application, bentonite is either sieved (granular form) or milled (into powder and super fine powder form). For special applications, bentonite is purified by removing the associated gangue minerals, or treated with acids to produce acid-activated bentonite (bleaching earths), or treated with organics to produce organoclays.
Foundry: Bentonite is used as a bonding material in the preparation of molding sand for the production of iron, steel and non-ferrous casting. The unique properties of bentonite yield green sand moulds with good flowability, compactability and thermal stability for the production of high quality castings.
Cat Litter: Bentonite is used for cat litter, due to its advantage of absorbing refuse by forming clumps (which can be easily removed) leaving the remaining product intact for further use.
Pelletizing: Bentonite is used as a binding agent in the production of iron ore pellets. Through this process, iron ore fines are converted into spherical pellets, suitable as feed material in blast furnaces for pig iron production, or in the production of direct reduction iron (DRI).
Construction and Civil Engineering: Bentonite in civil engineering applications is used traditionally as a thixotropic, support and lubricant agent in diaphragm walls and foundations, in tunnelling, in horizontal directional drilling and pipe jacking. Bentonite, due to its viscosity and plasticity, also is used in Portland cement and mortars.
Environmental Markets: Bentonite’s adsorption/absorption properties are very useful for wastewater purification. Common environmental directives recommend low permeability soils, which naturally should ontain bentonite, as a sealing material in the construction and rehabilitation of landfills to ensure the protection of groundwater from the pollutants. Bentonite is the active protective layer of geosynthetic clay liners.
Drilling: Another conventional use of bentonite is as a mud constituent for oil and water well drilling. Its roles are mainly to seal the borehole walls, to remove drill cuttings and to lubricate the cutting head.
Oils/Food Markets: Bentonite is utilized in the removal of impurities in oils where its adsorptive properties are crucial in the processing of edible oils and fats (Soya/palm/canola oil). In drinks such as beer, wine and mineral water, and in products like sugar or honey, bentonite is used as a clarification agent.
Agriculture: Bentonite is used as an animal feed supplement, as a pelletizing aid in the production of animal feed pellets, as well as a flowability aid for unconsolidated feed ingredients such as soy meal. It also is used as an ion exchanger for improvement and conditioning of the soil. When thermally treated, it can be used as a porous ceramic carrier for various herbicides and pesticides.
Pharmaceuticals: Cosmetics and Medical Markets: Bentonite is used as filler in pharmaceuticals, and due to its absorption/adsorption functions, it allows paste formation. Such applications include industrial protective creams, calamine lotion, wet compresses, and antiirritants for eczema. In medicine, bentonite is used as an antidote in heavy metal poisoning. Personal care products such as mud packs, sunburn paint, baby and facepowders, and face creams may all contain bentonite.
Detergents: Laundry detergents and liquid hand cleansers/soaps rely on the inclusion of bentonite, in order to remove the impurities in solvents and to soften the fabrics.
Paints: Dyes and Polishes: Due to its thixotropic properties, bentonite and organoclays function as a thickening and/or suspension agent in varnishes, and in water and solvent paints. Its adsorption properties are appreciated for the finishing of indigo dying cloth, and in dyes (lacquers for paints & wallpapers).
Paper: Bentonite is crucial to paper making, where it is used in pitch control, i.e. absorption of wood resins that tend to obstruct the machines and to improve the efficiency of conversion of pulp into paper as well as to improve the quality of the paper. Bentonite also offers useful de-inking properties for paper recycling. In addition, acid-activated bentonite is used as the active component in the manufacture of carbonless copy paper.
Catalyst: Chemically-modified clay catalysts find application in a diverse range of duties where acid catalysis is a key mechanism. Most particularly, they are employed in the alkylation processes to produce fuel additives.orillon, in Southern France.
There are not many substances better able to promote internal cleansing than bentonite clay. However, there are some caveats.
Lately in my colon-hydrotherapy business I have seen the result of using bentonite improperly, leading to dryness and blockage in the colon, in direct opposition to the expected results. This comes from the American idea that More is Better.
Clay therapies have been used for known hundreds and perhaps thousands of years by indigenous peoples for internal and external cleansing and healing. Bentonite clays
(there are three basic chemical varieties) are some of the best clays to use for healing purposes and have been mined and treated for these purposes in the west for many decades. At this time I will only address using bentonite internally.
Unfired clay is a vital reactive substance and has been called “living earth” because of it’s electromagnetic charge. The clay results from the long weathering and aging of volcanic ash and retains the electromagnetic charge formed when the ash was created from thermal-dynamic heat and volcanic action. It form as little platelets which have a positive charge along their edges and a stronger negative charge across their large flat surfaces. It is this stronger negative charge that draws so many forms of toxic material to it, grabbing and holding it until it passes from the body through the digestive tract.
Clay is extremely absorbent so it draws toxic substances and swells to many times its size in water. Various toxins drawn by clay are pathogenic viruses, herbicides, heavy metals, pesticides, radio active substances, and parasites. Needless to say, this is a good thing. So if a little clay is good for these things, more must be better, right? Take care, my cleansing friends.
I first learned about clay as a healing tool in the early seventies from (the French naturopath) Michel Abehsera’s book, “Our Earth, Our Cure”, and it was from this book that I first understood some of how clay works. It works as a magnet, not as a mack truck. What I mean is that it works delicately and more is definitely NOT better. One friend who came to see me had been following the directives of an otherwise great cleanse, but which recommended that one build up to 4 tablespoons a day. Michel Abehsera recommended 1 teaspoon in a glass of water, and then only drinking the clay water until one had built up a tolerance for it, and then slowly adding the clay itself.
Here is what happens, or doesn’t happen. Clay is earth. It’s heavy. It’s dense. If it bumps up against some impaction on the colon wall, it won’t necessarily push it through. Part of it will adhere, adding to the compaction. A small amount will not be a problem, but four tablespoons magnified to ?????. This can create new or added constipation which will be exacerbated for anyone who isn’t drinking a LOT of water during a period of clay cleansing. Some of the commercial uses of bentonite are in cement, adhesives, kitty litter, pond sealers, preserving mummies (true story), etc. Get it? It dries and binds.
Think of clay as a catalyst rather than an active agent. There is nothing particularly unusual in its metallic components. Rather than thinking only of clay’s absorptive qualities, think of its magnetic qualities. You don’t need a lot of it to do the job especially if you have prepared it properly.
CLAY NEEDS TO BE SOAKED IN WATER – remember, 1 teaspoon in a full glass – for a minimum of thirty minutes, but several hours is preferable.The water activates its electromagnetic charge. Be sure to remove the metallic spoon used to stir from the water. Preparing the glassful before bed is a good habit. The longer the clay sits in the water the more it imparts its electromagnetic charge into the water, making the water into medicine. The whole glass gets charged, so you don’t need very much of the physicality of the clay itself to draw toxins. This is true not only regarding the detoxifying action of clay but even more so for its catalytic actions. Catalytic action simply refers to those actions in the body that are stimulated by the presence of clay rather than by its direct contact, such as the ability to restore organ function, stimulate red blood cells, regulate radioactivity in the body. These catalytic functions I have no direct understanding of, but refer to information cleaned from reading in order to give my readers a little deeper sense of the range of the internal healing influences of clay.
It’s recommended to avoid combining clay therapy with either pharmaceutical or homeopathic medicines. The action of clay is inhibited by medicines. Wait until you are not on any medicine regime before trying clay cleansing.
Clay water should be ingested on an empty stomach if possible, either early in the morning or before bed. If taken a little before meals it can decrease stomach pains that occur after eating. And even though you are taking it in solution, still be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. For people with a tendency toward constipation, it is better to take your clay in the evening. A daily regime can be as long as three weeks; then take a break of at least a week. Clay cleansing is totally compatible with nutritive cleansing, but if combining it with complete fasting -water or juices only – add psyllium seed for fiber.*
One last thing. Clay is best stored in darkness, however, exposing it to sun’s energy (and air and rain) before using it will make it more active.